IEM aftermarket tips - Foam? Silicone? What else?
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Sebasistan

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So my ear canals are a) differently sized between left and right and b) fairly small, so most standard tips just end up hurting, with a few exceptions (the KZ AS16 star shaped tips are actually good, the OneMore Triple Driver silicone tips are good as well, as were the smallest tips that came with the V-Moda Remix Remote). So I resort to use Comply foam tips, which are comfortable and don't hurt me, but they have the disadvantages that if you listen to music in a setting where people will intermittently want to talk to you, taking them out and resetting them a lot chafes the ears and also wears the foam out faster. I go through a single set of comply tips in about a month before they simply break.

So, I guess my question is, what alternatives are there? I have seen other aftermarket tip manufacturers mentioned here and there. If I could more tips like the star shaped ones on the KZ AS-16 that'd be great - also a lot cheaper in the long run than replacing the damn foam tips all the time... Not a HUGE expense, mind you, but it's a bit annoying...
 
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megabigeye

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Mandarines Symbios are a hybrid with foam core and a silicone sleeve.
They don't insert quite as deep as Comply T series, so might be good for a smaller ear canal, but I can't attest to that myself.
I find them to be quite comfy with the benefits of both materials-- they isolate and are comfortable like foam, but preserve the treble like silicone.
I've been using one pair for about a year and a month, so I'd say they're pretty durable. Sometimes I have to kind of squish the foam back into the outer sleeve, but they haven't fallen apart yet.

If you ask in the official thread you might be able to get a discount. Don't know if they're still doing that, but it's worth asking. They ship from Poland (I think?), so shipping to the States can take a while.
 
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assassin10000

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You could try the newbee foam tips off amazon. Or order foam tips off AliExpress that will take a while but are dirt cheap if you aren't in a rush. They appear identical to the newbees, just no name to them.
 
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baskingshark

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So my ear canals are a) differently sized between left and right and b) fairly small, so most standard tips just end up hurting, with a few exceptions (the KZ AS16 star shaped tips are actually good, the OneMore Triple Driver silicone tips are good as well, as were the smallest tips that came with the V-Moda Remix Remote). So I resort to use Comply foam tips, which are comfortable and don't hurt me, but they have the disadvantages that if you listen to music in a setting where people will intermittently want to talk to you, taking them out and resetting them a lot chafes the ears and also wears the foam out faster. I go through a single set of comply tips in about a month before they simply break.

So, I guess my question is, what alternatives are there? I have seen other aftermarket tip manufacturers mentioned here and there. If I could more tips like the star shaped ones on the KZ AS-16 that'd be great - also a lot cheaper in the long run than replacing the damn foam tips all the time... Not a HUGE expense, mind you, but it's a bit annoying...
U can consider making custom ear tips at a local shop that does ear impressions. They are pricier than the non custom tips, but u can potentially use them across different IEMs.
 
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